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She but removes weak passions for the strong:
We are told that when Mandrin* found himself bound alive on the wheel, and saw the executioner approach with a bar of iron to break his limbs, he showed not a little anxiety and alarm. But after the second and third blow, he fell a-laughing, and being asked the reason by his confessor, said he laughed at his own folly, which had anticipated increased agony at every blow, when it was obvious that the first must have jarred and confounded the system of the nerves so much as to render the succeeding blows of little consequence. Sir Walter Scott, in his Diary, supposes it to be the same with the moral feeling; for he at least, on the day he makes the entry-which is the day of a meeting of his creditors—cannot bring himself, he avows, to be anxious whether these matters be settled one way or anothert—so ytterly prostrate he feels under the paralysing shock of preceding troubles.
When Marie Antoinette, after the king's death, was torn from her children, and dragged through the small low door of her prison in the Temple to what was to be her last prison in the Conciergerie, she struck her head violently against the door-post ; and on being asked if she was hurt, only said, “ Nothing can hurt me now.”[ Lord Lytton has re'marked that in gentler griefs, there is a sort of luxury in bodily discomfort; but in inexorable and unmitigated anguish, bodily discomfort is not felt. “ There is a kind of magnetism in extreme woe, by which the body itself seems laid asleep, and knows no distinction between the bed of Damien and the rose-couch of the Sybarite.”S
When Alfred Hardie, the sane prisoner at a private "asylum,” in one of Mr. Charles Reade's stories with a purpose, is outpouring his wrongs and sufferings in the ear of the visiting justice, the latter asks him if he has any complaint to make of the food, the beds, or the attendants. In each of these particulars—the insect-swarming beds and the brutally violent keepers especially—has Alfred suffered exceedingly. But his answer is, “Sir, I leave those complaints to the insane ones : with me the gigantic wrong (of being here at all] drives out the petty worries. I cannot feel my stings for my deep wound."||
In another, and yet more popular, of the same deservedly popular author's stories with a purpose, it is represented as no common stroke of unscrupulous policy, on the part of manoeuvring Meadows, to plunge Susan Merton into the very depths of woe in order to take her out of them. And the first effect was in his favour : she being less sorrowful than she had been before the deadly blow now inflicted; " for now the heart had realised a greater woe, and had the miserable comfort of the comparison."T
One other example, but of a different sort, from the same ready
*“Captain-General of the French Smugglers, who for the space of nine months resolutely stood in defiance of the whole army of France, &c." (Title-page of his Authentic Memoirs, 8vo, London, 1755.)
Diary of Sir W. Scott, Feb. 3, 1826.
| Hard Cash, vol. ii. p. 312.
writer. When Mistress Oldfield bursts into a passion of real tears, her simple companion forgets to cry over her own homely sorrow. At sight of the stronger woman's tears,“ Susan's dried themselves; the grief of the greater mind swallowed up her puny sorrow, as the river absorbs the brook that joins it.”*
Mr. Dickens pictures a parallel case—with a more elaborate exposition of details—when he brings about the conversion of Mrs. Gummidge from the state of a seemingly inveterate whiner, always lugubrious, always lachrymose,-simply by overwhelming those nearest to her in a profound grief. “What a change in Mrs. Gummidge in a little time! She was another woman. . . She was so forgetful of herself, and so regardful of the sorrow about her, that I held her in a sort of veneration. ... She persisted, all day long, in toiling under weights that she was quite unequal to, and fagging to and fro on all sorts of unnecessary errands.” As to deploring, as of old, her misfortunes, she appears to have entirely lost the recollection of ever having had any. “Querulousness was out of the question.”+ For, as in one's own case a great grief may medicine a little sorrow, in like manner the great present grief of another may medicine, at least for a time, if not cure and obliterate altogether (which is not to be looked for), a great but past, though very present, grief of one's own.
BY WILLIAM JONES.
A GALLANT knight was Roland wight, of Charles the merry king,
Sing, heigh-ho for Cavaliers,
For Roundheads are but knaves !
Sing, heigh-ho for Cavaliers,
For Roundheads are but knaves ! * Art: a Dramatic Tale.
† David Copperfield, ch. xxxii. VOL. LX.
JOURNAL OF AN AIDE-DE-CAMP.*
gayest of the
At the commencement of the year 1847, I was selected by the CrownPrince of M., a general in the Prussian service and Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment of Lancers to which I belonged, to accompany him as aidede-camp. The Prince was seeking a southern climate for his only daughter, the Princess Hermengilde, whose health had suddenly as. sumed a character that caused him the most serious anxiety.
Eighteen months previously the young Princess had been with the Crown Prince at Baden, where the season had been unusually brilliant, and where she had been among
her rare loveliness having attracted the highest degree of admiration, more particularly among the strangers. It was within a few weeks after their return to M. that her health began visibly to fail, owing, it was thought, to a neglected cold. This at first created no alarm, as the princess, though delicate in appearance, had ever been considered to possess a strong constitution, and certainly from her childhood had never exhibited the remotest symptoms of anything approaching to a consumptive tendency.
At length, however, it became too painfully evident that her malady, whatever was its nature, gained rapidly upon her, and the perplexed physicians, who were greatly at variance as to its origin, could only agree in recommending her passing the winter in a more genial clime, since it was manifestly evident that medical skill was of no avail.
In one of Italy's oldest and noblest cities, rich in all the gorgeous souvenirs of its former fame and greatness, the Prince had taken up his abode early in the month of January, living much retired himself, while I entered with a full sense of enjoyment into all the amusements of the carnival then just commenced, and which that year were even more than usually well sustained, owing to the great number of imperial and royal princes and families assembled there.
How often, and with what varied feelings, have I since glanced back upon this period, the reminiscences of which subsequent events in all their vivid and absorbing interest have deeply and painfully impressed upon me! The scene of festivity was drawing to a close, when, through the kindness of the Prince, I received an invitation to accompany him and the Princess, who occasionally, but very rarely, frequented these festive scenes, to a grand réunion at the Duchess de B.'s, to which he desired me to proceed with himself for the purpose of being presented to her royal highness.
The hour fixed for the reception was nine o'clock, and such was the punctuality rigidly enforced and required from those invited to the imperial and royal circles, that although only a few minutes had elapsed
* It may add to the interest of these passages to mention that the personages and incidents of them are all real, the names alone being withheld, and a few merely trivial touches altered, to avoid wounding those still living. It is simply what it is stated to be-extracts from the diary, and snatches from the reminiscences, of the writer.
since the time specified bad struck, on reaching the palace we found ourselves in the midst of a vast and brilliant crowd in the lower court, and on ascending the grand staircase we observed the saloons already nearly filled. The winter, for an Italian clime, had this year been unusually bleak and cold, but as we mounted the richly carpeted marble steps, on each side we inhaled the fragrance of shrubs and flowers redolent with all the perfume of a southern hemisphere.
On emerging from the ante-room we entered the great central saloon, near the entrance of which stood the Duchess, surrounded by a glittering throng of imperial and royal princes. On being presented to her, and received with her usual kind courtesy and urbanity, I could not but remark that however severely she had been visited by adversity since I had last beheld her, nearly eighteen years previous, and however much her personal appearance had changed during the interval, her countenance, in its true and warm-hearted benevolence and
and animated spirit, was still the same.
Having paid my respects to her, I fell back in the midst of that noble crowd, and standing by one of the marble columns, I gazed upon the glittering scene around me. It was at once brilliant and animated, the array of a court without its monotony and reserve and wearying etiquette. There was a splendid display of loveliness, the fairer beauties of our northern clime mingling with the dark flashing eyes and voluptuous forms of the south; there was an assemblage of gorgeous uniforms, among which shone the jewelled insignia of the most splendid orders of chivalry in Europe, blending with the simpler costume of those whose great names and colossal talents had long distinguished them as the first statesmen of the Continent. The suite of saloons in which the company were assembled were four in number, opening into each other. Of these, three were hung with paintings of the finest masters of the Italian school, which literally reached from the richly carved and gilt ceilings to the marble floor, covered with carpets of the softest fabrics of the eastern looms; but the fourth was plain, and exhibited its walls only, panelled with a richly flowered dark green silk damask of the middle ages, edged with massive gilt mouldings, and further adorned by columns of jasper and verde antique. In the doorway leading to the last I had taken my station, and known but to few in that dazzling throng, I gazed with the deepest interest and attention upon the number of illustrious men, and beautiful and no less distinguished women, who moved around me.
The incidents of the evening were from the first impressed upon me, but I little thought then how subsequent events would imprint it upon my mind in characters never hereafter to be effaced! Who in that moment of gay and joyous revelry could have foreseen the fate of manyalas ! how many?--of that proud and high-born assembly before eighteen short months should have elapsed from the period when they met here, in the flower of youth or manhood, replete with life, energy, and spirit ? True, even then some murmured threatenings had been heard, some faint rumblings had shadowed forth the inward agitation of the slumbering volcano, but these lowering signs had passed unheeded by, or were carelessly and contemptuously glanced at even by the acutest and most farseeing intellects, who little foresaw the eventual storm of madness and delirium of which they heralded the approach, and which shook the
greater part of continental Europe to its foundation, ultimately obliging the real friends of liberty, civilisation, and progress, to seek refuge from utter anarchy and disruption under the rigorous and iron rule of military despotism.
The fine young man wearing the order of the Golden Fleece was the Archduke Ferdinand Louis, and that handsome woman, smiling and beckoning towards him, was the young Princess Elena, his cousin, to whom he had recently been married, after a long and deeply cherished affection on either side. Sad and mournful was the fate awarded that fair bride of an imperial and royal house. He attained to high and brilliant fame the following year in many a bloody field, but sank into an early grave from an infectious fever caught in the military hospitals, while labouring to sustain and console the spirits of the wounded and disabled soldiery. The tall, martial figure, wearing the uniform of the Hulan, or Lancer regiment, of which he was the colonel-in-chief, was the General Count de W., the representative of one of the oldest and noblest families of the Sarmatian aristocracy. He fell, mourned even by his enemies, in the masterly retreat from Milan upon Verona, an event which saved the Austrian army, if not the empire itself, from destruction. That handsome officer in the rich Hussar uniform was a scion of a race than whom none have ever been more celebrated for military fame and glory in the annals of aristocratic Britain. In the first campaign in Hungary, he was ordered with his squadron to support a battalion of infantry in their attempt to carry a strongly entrenched fortified position by assault. The fire, however, of the enemy was so murderous that the assailants gave way, and were in full and hasty retreat, which was gradually degenerating into a rout, when the gallant Englishman, with the proverbial valour of his country, sprang from his horse, and rushing to the head of the disordered column, seized the regimental standard and called upon
the men to follow him. His voice and example were magical ; they rallied on the instant, and he led them forward to success and victory, but in that joyous moment he fell at their head, and tears rolled down many a bronzed, furrowed cheek, as his remains on the conclusion of the action were consigned to their last sad resting-place.
That somewhat hard-featured, resolute, and sailor-like man in the naval uniform was Captain M. On the breaking out of the revolution, when all around was treason and disaffection on the part of those he commanded towards their sovereign, he alone stood firm in his loyalty and duty, and perished sooner than desert his post, a victim to his highminded devotion. The tall, dark, thoughtful-looking general officer was the Baron von H. In the conflict at Santa Lucca, he was for some time cut off, and left unsupported with his brigade to sustain the brunt of the entire left wing of the Piedmontese army. He fell, but not before he had infused his own gallant and indomitable spirit into his men, who stood their ground resolute and determined to combat to the last, when fortunately they were relieved from their perilous position. That young, fine-looking officer of Cuirassiers, as he leans over that bright and fair. haired girl, was the Prince de T.; he whispered in her ear, and she blushed and looked down, and then her eyes were raised to his with a look of confiding trust and innocence, that implied what words could never sufficiently convey. Theirs was a sad, though eventually not unhappy his